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Napoli President Calls For 16-Team Serie A

Aurelio De Laurentiis of SSC Napoli has heavily criticised the running process of Serie A and the FIGC, bemoaning the federation’s micro-managing of domestic and foreign affairs – and believes that the league should be trimmed down to give the national team more time to practice.

Here are his suggestions for how to turn Italian football around, from opening up the borders more to bringing in the vanishing spray and goal-line technology.

The initiative to restart football comes from young men with young ideas, doesn’t it?

The number on your birth certificate counts for nothing. Ideas, yes. It is imperative to remain young inside, to know to look to the future. Otherwise you’re a failure.

Whoever is called to be a president can’t be culturally contaminated and conditioned by the past. You often hear said when alterations are implemented ‘after all nothing is really going to change.’

Today, however, finally, there is the possibility to do it, if you keep in mind that the real problem isn’t the age of the president.

What changes must we make to revolutionise football?

We need the possibility to use foreign footballers without obligations or ceilings.

Why must the federation be able to decide the policies of our business? An entrepreneur has to combine the factors for production in total liberty and without out-of-date snares and traps that have nothing to do with the institution.

A Federation shouldn’t prohibit, rather encourage to build. How do you do that if there is only one Buffon, only one Chiellini, only one Immobile, only one Insigne? Do the 20 teams have to remain so imbalanced?

You must allow everyone to go and buy foreign like is already the case in other European places like Belgium, Portugal etc. to foster competition, also considering the competence of who is in charge of purchases; the budget has to be agreed, the demands of the manager listened to.

In this way the level of our football would grow and with this the level of Italian players in their teams; and thus the Nazionale too would benefit.

A 16-team championship is your ideal Serie A?

I’m not trying to revolutionise the current system in order to limit other clubs; it has already been like this in 1986 and if we want to be more competitive in Italy and thus also in Europe, we cannot pressurise the players and clubs to the extent that we are.

If we want to train up the Nazionale, we have to find space which at the moment just isn’t there.

But we are all so selfishly devoted to our own little allotments, getting a handful of votes more than everyone else, in the league and the Federation.

There were a series of suggestions from Brazil…

The referee spray should be an immediate import; not only is it generally liked but it slims down the whole free-kick process.

The goal technology is very helpful. And I must say absolutely that the referees have been good – apart from that episode that affected also our Nazionale [presumably the Marchisio red] – in speeding up the game, bringing out cards only rarely. That created also more respect between rival players.”



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